Wool buyers bid up for fleece free of vegetable matter

Sheep Central, May 5, 2023

Clean fine Merino fleece was in stronger demand this week.

AUSTRALIAN Merino wool prices have recorded an overall rise for a second consecutive auction series, driven by strong demand for medium and fine fleece free of vegetable matter.

The Australian Wool Exchange said the national offering was smaller than the 44,257 bales originally rostered, due in part to the 6.1 percent withdrawn prior to sale.

Brokers offered 38,838 bales and 10.6pc of these were passed-in unsold.

“With fleece wool carrying less than 1pc vegetable matter (vm) continuing to become less available – 34pc of the national fleece total fell into this category — these types attracted the strongest buyer attention,” AWEX said.

“So much so that in some cases buyers were willing to overlook short comings in some particular lots, in order to secure quantity of these free or nearly free (FNF) types.

“Demand for this wool was the driving force behind the overall increase in the market and in the rises that were recorded in some of the Individual Micron Price Guides (MPGs) across the country, AWEX said.

“The overall movements for the MPGs ranged between -8 and +53 cents nationally.”

AWEX said the Merino skirtings followed a similar path to the fleece, lower vm types were highly sought after and helped the sector record overall increases.

“The crossbred sector was generally firm unchanged compared to the previous week.”

AWEX said on the back of these movements, the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) gained 8 cents for the week, closing at 1310 cents/kg clean.

“For the first time in six selling weeks, the EMI recorded an increase in US dollar terms, gaining US13 cents for the series and closing at US874 cents.”

AWEX said the oddments were the poorest performing sector this week.

“The three Merino Carding Indicators (MC) fell by an average of 9 cents, mainly caused by a general reduction of 20 cents in locks carrying more than 3pc vm.

“These losses prevented the EMI from a larger rise.”

Next week’s offering is forecast to rise, there is currently 48,643 bales on offer, with selling to be held on Tuesday and Wednesday only.

Superfine wool sought after – AWI

Australian Wool Innovation trade consultant Scott Carmody said it was predominantly a market whereby price alignment was the main game, as last week’s closing basis was extremely varied between selling centres.

“This week, the Sydney centre posted strong gains on the 18.5 micron and broader Merino fleece segment whilst the other two centres stayed relatively firm around the established price basis.

“By the close of selling, all prices were comparable across the regions,” he said.

“The superfine Merino wools – finer than 18.5 micron – were strongly sought throughout and closed at levels 20 to 30 cents higher.

“On all Merino types, the market was assisted by the smaller offered volumes tightening supply and a slight improvement from Chinese buying of super fines to compete against some handy Indian and European orders.”

Mr Carmody said skirting wools were particularly well sought, and some stronger interest is apparent on these wools, with the stronger attention being paid to the better lots containing less than 4pc vm.

He said the crossbred wool sectors defied the stronger AUD against the USD forex rates and managed to hold rock solid on all micron groups for the week. Cardings again struggled to hold onto their values and a further loss of around 10ac resulted from the week’s trade.

“Merino wool buying was dominated by the largest exporters taking on Chinese top makers and indent operators.

“The local traders have exhibited a growing confidence in the current price levels and that is transferring to sale rooms creating a healthier and more competitive environment,” Mr Carmody said.

“Every buying sector is being forced to act more bullishly to acquire inventory.”

Click here to read the latest AWEX Micron Price Guides.

Sources – AWEX, AWI.


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